For many Americans, the pandemic rewired their relationship with package delivery. The newfound explosion of weekly and daily deliveries (Amazon delivered an estimated 7.7 billion global packages in 2021, for scale) collided with supply chain challenges in the past year to adjust service expectations. But just over one-quarter into 2023, how satisfied are Americans with the package delivery experience?

According to the latest CivicScience data, 9-in-10 U.S. adults have received a package via delivery in the last three months. Among recipients, 21% say they have experienced problems with a package delivery service, such as missing/misplaced or damaged packaging, at least ‘somewhat’ often – with 6% experiencing this ‘very often.’ The majority (56%) of recipients experienced problems at some point with a package delivery service, such as missing/misplaced or damaged packaging. While 35% rarely had issues, a total of 21% encountered delivery issues on a somewhat consistent basis.

Even though U.S. households earning under $50K yearly are the least likely to have had any packages delivered within the past three months, they are the most likely of any income bracket to report problems with package delivery occurring ‘very’ (9%) or ‘somewhat’ (18%) often. Problems with delivery also disproportionately impact urban residents, with 27% claiming they occur at least ‘somewhat often’ (and 10% reporting issues ‘very often’).

UPS is America’s first choice for package delivery.

As e-commerce competition only intensifies, the delivery experience undoubtedly plays a role in overall customer satisfaction. That said, do Americans prefer one carrier over another?

UPS currently leads the pack among preferred package delivery services at 35%, and it holds a reasonable lead on the next closest challengers (Amazon at 23%, USPS at 21%, and FedEx at 20%). Among Gen Z adults, Amazon takes the lead with 32% to 27% for UPS – while U.S. adults 35 and older over-index in their UPS allegiance.

People who prefer UPS are also more likely to report frequent delivery issues than FedEx, USPS, or Amazon favorables, although only marginally. Delivery problems are reported at nearly equal rates despite the preferred carrier.

Who’s getting packages delivered most frequently?

A significant share of the country has come to expect packages on a consistent basis. A total of 42% of U.S. adults receive home package deliveries at least weekly – with 7% getting packages on a daily basis. A strong majority (69%) gets home package deliveries on at least a monthly basis.

More frequent package deliveries tend to correlate with higher income. U.S. households earning over $100K yearly are nearly twice as likely as those earning under $50K to get packages delivered at least weekly. The highest earners well over-index for getting packages daily (12% to the Gen Pop’s 7%) or weekly (47% to the Gen Pop’s 35%). Yet despite this, as previously noted, they are less likely than lower-income earners to report delivery problems.

Gen Z adults are both the most likely to receive packages on a daily basis (10%) and ‘rarely or never’ (16%). But their overall delivery share is just a hair beneath older age groups. U.S. adults aged 35-to-54 are the most likely to receive packages on at least a weekly basis (45%) – and all age brackets over-35 outpace the Gen Pop in this regard.

Although package deliveries have become a reliable part of the weekly routine for over two-fifths of U.S. adults, they aren’t without complications for some. Lower-income Americans, along with those living in cities, are the most likely to face issues with package delivery.

What impact do delivery issues have on customer satisfaction and retention? For more insights into how delivery and logistics are impacting consumers, work with us.